Locked Down in Watertown

| June 24, 2013 | 0 Comments
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When the alarm went off, I thought it was going to be a Friday morning just like any other, but as I lay there listening to the radio, I soon realized I was wrong. During the night there had been a car chase and shoot out right up the street from where I live in Watertown, MA.  And although Thorn, our oldest Labrador Retriever, has been known to get me up in the middle of the night at the slightest bit of thunder, it seems that we had all slept peacefully through the gunfire and bombs that were going off at the end of our street.  It was the beginning of what would end up being a nerve-wracking day for both humans and dogs.

Thorm and Cory)

Thorn: Mythago’s Green Hawthorn, UD, RAE, VER, JH, THDX, WCI, CC, CGC
Cory: Grampian Hickory’s Crimson H2O Dragon, CDX, RE, JH, THD, CC, CGC

A manhunt had begun, and, as a result, Watertown was in lockdown.  We were told to stay in our homes and to not answer our doors unless the person knocking was a uniformed officer.  Of course, this presented a bit of a problem for those of us who have dogs.  I was lucky.  I have a big fenced in yard.  So, I would cautiously let my 3 dogs out to potty while anxiously standing on my front porch staring up at the military helicopters that were circling overhead.  But for my neighbors without yards (and there are quite a few of those in crowded little Watertown) things were a bit trickier.  One friend tried to take her two poodles on a short walk so that they could do their business only to be quickly told by police that she needed to get back inside her house.  Another neighbor with a cute, little, older dog who lives across the street from me made her poor dog wait until after 4:00PM before finally sneaking him outside for a quick potty break.  In general, my usually busy neighborhood was like a ghost town.  Except for the occasional police presence, we didn’t see a soul out on the street.

Aspen retrieving fish

Aspen: Grampian Viking’s Aspen X-Treme! RN, CGC

And so we waited, glued to our radio while streaming live coverage of the events unfolding just a few blocks away from us at the Watertown Mall.  The dogs were subdued.  Even Aspen, our effervescent puppy, seemed to realize that something strange was going on and was on her best behavior.  However, by mid afternoon, we were all beginning to get a bit restless.  Our dogs really wanted to know why, on such a nice day, we weren’t all outside playing.  Although the media’s coverage of what was going on was relentless, it seemed that we had reached the point where no new information was being added to the mix.  It was frustrating for all of us.  Finally, around 4:30PM, my neighbors started to venture outside, at least as far as their front porches.  I let the dogs out into our yard and, happy to finally be freed from confinement in the house, Cory and Aspen immediately started chasing each other all over the yard.  Not seeing any police, I wandered across the street to a neighbor’s house to compare notes on the day’s events.  We all marveled at how a 19-year-old kid who was probably injured could have eluded the police and military for so many hours.  Where could he be?

Penny and winning family

Penny and “winning” family

Finally, following a 6PM news conference, the lockdown was suspended.  Now everyone in my neighborhood was outside.  I could see cars, other than police cars, traveling on Mt. Auburn Street.  Some neighbors got in their cars and headed out of the neighborhood in search of takeout.  I had just started to play some fetch with our dogs out in the yard when I thought I heard gunfire and sirens.   I hurried everyone back inside, and ran to the radio to hear if something new had happened.  It had.  The suspect had been located hiding in a boat in someone’s back yard several blocks away.  For the next few hours we were riveted by the images being broadcasted live by the local television station.  By 9:00PM the suspect had been captured and I felt comfortable enough to let the dogs outside once more.  As I turned the television off, images showed jubilant Watertown citizens, celebrating that the manhunt was over and that this very stressful day was finally drawing to a close.

Category : General

Penny Shultz

About the Author ()

Penny Shultz lives with her husband, Joel Wolff, and their three Labrador Retrievers, Hawthorn (aka Thorn), Hickory (aka Cory) and Aspen in Watertown, MA. She is an active member of the Labrador Retriever Club of Greater Boston, the Yankee Golden Retriever Club, Charles River Dog Training Club and New England Dog Training Club. Penny has been involved in dog sports for over 19 years and currently competes with her dogs in AKC Obedience, Rally and Hunt tests. She and her husband are also very active in Animal Assisted Therapy and perform pet therapy visits with Thorn and Cory at local hospitals and universities through the Pets and People Foundation.

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